CEMA was founded as an “agent of change” within the IT event industry. As part of CEMA's mission, the association has taken positions on several controversial issues that the membership feels will make our industry stronger. The CEMA board recently voted to support one such issue: the need for standardized, independent audits to verify audience demographics at trade shows.

Each CEMA-member company depends on its event professionals to provide the right event marketing choices. The dramatic downturn in our economy reinforces the need for standardized audits.

CEMA needs your help. Here's what you can do:

  • For every show in which you participate, simply ask show management for its help. Ask for detailed, standardized audit info — the same kind that BPA and ABC provide the advertising industry. There is a plethora of info in those audits, and the risk you take when you choose a show can decrease significantly when you are armed with consistent audit reports.

  • If show management is able to provide an ABC- or BPA-type audit, thank them. Let them know you appreciate it and find value in the information provided. Use the info when determining your company's show participation.

  • If show management does not provide this type of audit, ask for it. Give them feedback on what they currently provide and tell them whether it is helpful. They need to hear from you, and you have a responsibility to tell them.

  • Help CEMA with the cause. E-mail me with a company-approved quote that we can use for various public relations activities. If you don't feel that you can write a good quote, let us try to get one started for you.

  • This is a long-term commitment. Don't let go. If you get discouraged, call me.

I've started an audit task force, so please be in touch if you would like to participate. CEMA has the collective strength to make standardized audits a reality at IT shows. With your help, we can continue to insure that CEMA is the agent of change in our industry!

Summit Follow-up

Visit CEMA's Web site, www.cemaonline.com, to download educational presentations from the 2001 Summit meeting at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz.

TSEA Resources

The Trade Show Exhibitors Association is supporting CEMA on the audit issue and provides resourceful audit information on its Web site, www.tsea.org/advocacy/audits.htm, including an exhibition audit kit. TSEA's president, Michael Bandy, is pleased that CEMA is endorsing audits and knows that CEMA's membership will play a big part in raising the decibels on this important issue.